Phil Massey (Wine Buyer – Washington)
Phil, aka “Sammy,” is the most upbeat guy on the floor. He is full of boundless energy, and everyone knows when Phil walks in the door. This same energy bursts through when he shares his knowledge of wine. ”It feels like Christmas when I get to come to work at Wine World and talk to customers about wine.”
Phil got in the wine business in 2004, selling wine at Central Market in Shoreline and then Greenwood Market’s Wine and Beer department in 2008. After a short time at Pete’s in Bellevue Phil saw the light, and came to Wine World.
Phil is committed to making Wine World a huge success.
Randy Wagers (Wine Buyer – Oregon)
Randy loves to talk about wine! His passion for learning about wine began on a road trip through California in 1979. He then went on to work in both retail and wholesale wine, and was an active member in Les Amis Du Vin wine club. After leaving the wine business for many years, he began classes at Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle Community College in 2010. This led him to the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET) Level 3 Advanced certification program (passing with distinction) in June 2013, and the Society of Wine Educators CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine) certificate in July 2013. He started at Wine World as Arnie Millan’s intern in Feb. 2013, and now shares his knowledge on the sales floor.
Randy’s focus is Old World wines, with an emphasis on France. His favorite wines come from the Rhone Valley.
Geoff has been in the beer and wine industry since ’96 when he was a buyer for Whole Foods. He has a passion for gourmet foods and cooking, so when he left Whole Foods in late ’09 he started his own catering business, Big Boy BBQ. Geoff attended the culinary training program at LA Trade Tech. He has a love for music, cooking, and hiking. Email:GeoffS@wineworldspirits.
Patrick Caffall, Director of Spirits
Directing our Spirits program, Patrick Caffall brings to Wine World & Spirits more than twenty plus years restaurant and bar experience. In addition to his spirits background Patrick is a member of the International Sommelier Guild. Patrick has worked, managed and created craft cocktail programs for many of Seattle’s iconic bars and restaurants. (The Painted Table, Sapphire Bar & Grill, El Gaucho’s Pampas Room, Troani’s, 22 Doors and Tini Bigs Martini Bar) Patrick’s Cocktails have been reviewed by the Seattle Times and was recognized by Seattle Magazine as one of the best mixologist in Seattle. As the managing Director of Spirits, Patrick’s unique experiences and talents will continue to influence the cocktail and spirit enthusiast in Seattle.
John is a self-described “spirits enthusiast.” After turning 21, he headed into his local state liquor and asked for job. Little did he know then that spirits would turn into a passion and a career. While working for the Washington State Liquor Control Board, John worked to open up the specialty market for unique and craft products from around the world, bringing in many that Washington State had never seen before. John maintained one of the largest selections of spirits in the Washington State Liquor Control Board system, and educated patrons on the diverse world of spirits.
After the passage of 1183, John immediately sought out a position Wine World, where he knew he could continue to bring in unique and diverse products. John’s goal at Wine World is to continue working with importers and cocktailers to make one of the best selections in not only Seattle, but the whole country.
John is also a world traveler, and makes sure to visit every distillery and sample every spirit that he can while travelling abroad. Liquor and liquor culture is his passion. He spends hours perusing dusty liquor shelves, distillery literature and drinking internationally, all to grow his knowledge of the world of spirits and share it with you.
Whitney Meriwether (Spirits Expert)
The newest member of the spirits team, Whitney D. Meriwether, is the distiller and founder of a small Seattle Craft Distillery in the Georgetown district of Seattle. Whitney has always had a passion for the best things in life. When a three month backpacking trip through Europe turned into a two year stay, Whitney began developing his spirit palate.
Enjoying a variety of whisky and wine, his love for quality spirits grew. This appreciation partnered with his inherent habit of building things, led to the dream of someday making his own whiskey. Keep an eye out for Speakeasy Vodka, Whitney’s first release!
Mary-Jo Bradley (Events Director)
Mary-Jo Bradley Laster is a twenty year veteran of providing event management for private events, businesses and charitable organizations. She founded her own event planning firm in 1994 and has successfully completed hundreds of events for more than 120 different organizations with many in the Fortune 100.
A strong love of wine and fascination with the wine making process brought her to the perfect blend (no pun intended) of doing wine events at Wine World.
Isabela Parra Galiano
Isabela graduated in Construction Engineering and Interior Design and worked in that field until she moved from Granada (Spain) to Seattle, three years ago. Missing her culture, food and wine so much lead her to enroll in the Northwest Wine Academy’s wine program. She also took the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET) Level 3 Advanced certification program last April. Isabela is very passionate about spreading her culture, talking about varietals, geography, soil, traditions and food from Spain and the Mediterranean. She will be the guide for a wine tour in Northern Spain and Portugal this summer. She is also interested in music, literature, history and art.
Old World wines make her feel closer to home. Rueda, Bierzo, Southern Rhône, Amarone, Sherry and Port are among her favorite wines.
Ever since Marty experienced the flavors of an orange and olive braised lamb paired with a Montepulciano D’Abruzzo she has never been the same. Synergy was the experience. Its from the Greek word synergia, συνέργεια, from synergos, συνεργός, meaning “working together”. In this case, when food and wine interact to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects. This was an OMG moment, and Marty has been looking to recreate that experience ever since.
This led Marty to attend the Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle Community College to study Wines of the World and Wine and Food Pairings. This knowledge has greatly broadened her appreciation of wines from around the world and led to her continued search for synergistic pairings.
Adam was born and raised in Washington. He spent his childhood around a family friend’s winery White Heron Cellars, where the wine bug was caught at an early age. After attending South Seattle’s Northwest Wine Academy he recieved an internship through Ste Michelle Wine Estates at Walla Walla’s Spring Valley Vineyard. Where he learned how to make Walla Walla Reds while working the 2010 harvest. As well as connecting and becoming friends with many of the states established and up an coming winemakers. Adam hopes to one day have his own Biodynamic Estate Vineyard and Winery.